In which I admit I can be a nervous nellie

by Anna Blanch on May 31, 2012

I am a bundle of nervous energy today.

I have a long awaited supervision meeting with my thesis advisors.

There are three kinds of nervousness that I generally feel. The first is a kind of nervous excitement; this is the realm of butterflies, and wry can’t help it smiles. The second kind is the pre-performance nervousness. This is a necessity for doing well in athletic competitions or any situation where I need to be ‘on my game’. Those two kinds are positive and are a natural way I preparing mentally and emotionally for future events. I’ve learned not just to cope with the nervousness that comes with excitement or preparation but to appreciate the way that muscle memory and the joy that comes from expectation kick in and show me what is important to me.

The third kind of nervousness isn’t so helpful. In fact it’s downright destructive.

It is a nervousness that makes you question yourself. That says that you’re not supposed to be in the exact place you know deep in your heart you are. It’s the voice that tells you that you’re not good enough. That no-one will like what you’ve written or what you say, or that you aren’t as good as you might have hoped. It’s a nervousness that is is bound up in fear and stress. It’s often a waste of emotional energy. Especially when it comes from wanting the approval of others on your work or your choices. In this case, i’m talking about my work…

It’s this final kind of nervousness that most makes me want to abandon my work and go for a walk on the beach. But it’s raining (and not just a little). It makes me feel down and sigh those overly emotive sighs.

It puts me in the mind of Adele’s “That’s it, I Quit! I’m Movin’ On!”

But i admit this might be taking the personification of my thesis, Hubert, just a little too far.


Thought it feels like alot of my posts lately have been life unmasked! I warned you it might get a little Dear diary around here for a while, this post is actually officially my tenth Life Unmasked post for 2012. In addition to my ninth, Chasing the Sun, my seventh, Dream a little Dream, my sixth, living in between and the linguistic revelations between reverse culture shock, the fifth, Before the birds are awake, my fourth, Blessed are the encouragers, the third, Sleepless in the PhD wilderness, and second for this year, A naked theologian, you may find my last life:unmasked post for 2011, A journeywoman, and my first for 2012, I’m an inbetweener of interest. All my 2011 Life unmasked can be found on this handy list. You can thank Joy of Joy’s Journey for pushing me to get involved in this weekly foray into ‘writing naked.’

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  • Findo

    I know absolutely what you mean about the third kind of nerves. They can easily strike me in the 15mins before the curtain goes up – the times when I really question what I do, and wish I was off fishing.
    Ultimately it is the gospel which overcomes it – recognising that my worth, and the worth of what I do is not ultimately judged by the audience (and esp. the critics therein) but by being in Christ. I find I have to hold the tension of giving my best, but not trying to please people (though I do like it when people appreciate what I do) – it doesn’t matter then, if I crack a note, or forget a word.
    Sometimes I just have to tell that critical voice that I’ll listen to it after the show (when it has hopefully packed up and gone home!)

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